Central runs away from Andover
Friday, January, 06
By Hector Longo
ANDOVER — Five minutes and 48 seconds, just three field goal attempts,zero points and one legitimate upset bid obliterated.
Central Catholic's defense out of the locker room swept host Andover right off its own Dunn Gymnasium floor, turning a 27-25 deficit into a 42-27 runaway.
"I thought we got hurt in the first half by some of their role players. It was not an "A" effort for us defensively," said coach Rick Nault, whose Raiders improved to 7-0. "We asjusted a little bit, and it was a big difference. The third quarter was how we practice. It's our mentality. That's what we talked about at halftime. We came out at another level in the third quarter. Our guys took it personally."
The Warriors, still getting to know each other with four new faces back from suspension this week and another returning next, never recovered and ultimately fell, 61-51, before a packed-to-the-rafters gathering of about 1,000 last night.
"Lack of communication, sloppy turnovers, we weren't really together," said Andover junior Sam Dowden, who had 11 points in the loss. "They played well, but (the third-quarter run) was mostly on us, I think.
"With the new guys coming in, still getting used to it, it was a good test with probably the best team we'll play all season. We played hard but we still have a lot to improve on."
Central again missed returning Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer Luis Puello, but the Raiders got a Puello-like defensive effort out of junior Lucas Hammel, who drew Andover's sensational James Costello and wore him like a "Snuggie" from baseline to baseline.
"The game plan was to try and shut him down, don'tlet him get going, don't let him get comfortable," said Hammel. Coach put me up to the challenge ... I accepted it."
Hammel made Costello fight for every one of his 11 points and had plenty in reserve to help spark a struggling Central attack.
Clearly, Andover's box-and-1 on Tyler Nelson had the Raiders scuffling for movement and shots. Enter Hammel, who penetrated into the lane and found the right option time and again in an 8-point, 8-assist night.
"Tyler is one of our main scorers, and I knew I had to be a little more aggressive," said Hammel. "It just happened that I saw Doug (Gemmell) for a lot of those passes."
Hammel's back-to-back dishes to Gemmell — first for a layup and then for one of his four triples on the night — ignited the 17-0 run in the third.
"Lucas drove, he drew my man, and found me," said the junior Gemmell, who led all scorers with 22 points. "I was wide open and hit a couple."
Central (61): Lucas Hammel 3 2-3 8, Doug Gemmell 8 1-3 22, Tyler Nelson 0 6-6 6, Joel Berroa 5 2-4 12, Mike Barry 1 0-0 3, Shawn McCoy 1 2-4 4, Nick Cambio 1 3-4 5, Henry Rodriguez 0 1-2 1, Totals 19 17-26 61
Andover (51): Max Silveira 2 2-3 7, Sam Dowden 2 6-6 11, Greg Dreyfus 1 3-4 5, Alex Brickman 2 2-2 6, David Giribaldi 3 0-0 6, James Costello 3 5-7 12, Chris Dunn 2 0-3 4, Totals 15 18-25 51
3-pointers: CC — Gemmell 4, Barry; A — Dowden, Costello, Silveira